Rob Smith, MD of ecommerce specialists Blueleaf, discusses re-platforming. What should you consider if you're thinking about  a new platform for your ecommerce website and what are some of the benefits of re-platforming? An unmissable video for anyone serious about their ecommerce platform.

If you'd prefer to read about Rob's tips rather than watch the video, here's the content:

This is Rob Smith, Managing Director of Blueleaf. Welcome to this week's Retail Roundup. In this video, I'll share five tips to ensure your project to change your ecommerce platform goes well. 

Number 1: Match your requirements to the platform

Make sure you match the platform that you've chosen to the needs of your business. Now that isn't just a requirements matrix, where you say "yes, the platform does X, yes the platform does y" because that's just surface-level detail. You've  got to ask how it does X and Y. 

What you'll find is that in some areas the platform will perform very well and in other areas it will be difficult and convoluted, then you're stuck with a process every day that's convoluted and you have to work with it. So make sure the platform can not only meet your requirements but it can perform well against them too.

Number 2: Don't scrimp on the scope

Make sure the scope of the project that you put forward matches the scope of the project you want to do. So don't leave out large pieces of functionality that you know you'll need soon. Those things have to be considered because the new platform is going to be with you for at least 3 years and up to 5 years depending on your business. 

Number 3: Don't have a massive wish list

OK, so this is slightly contradictory but it's important not to want too much either. Everyone has a huge wish list of what they want but we don't want to have the entire world in one project. By all means, discuss some of the things you want long-term but don't do it all in the first phase because that's what slows projects down. The best type of re-platform  project is to shift your current site and make some improvements along the way, then develop it further. You benefit from speed and the new platform. 

Number 4: Don't move problems

If you've got problems with your existing platform don't tell yourself "we'll do it that way because we have before so we might as well carry on with those integrations going forward". Make sure you make improvements to your biggest problems; if you just move problems your new shiny platform will have the same issues as the old one because you haven't actually solved them. 

Number 5: Put dedicated resource onto the project

You definitely need  a dedicated point of contact for a large re-platforming project on the client/retailer and agency sides. If you try and do it with existing  resources and fit it around people's responsibilities you'll struggle to spend the right amount of time on it.  

That's my five tips on making sure your platform update goes well, thanks for listening and good luck!